This was an absolute treat - sitting outside on one of Northern Ireland's few sunny days, surrounded by my soon-to-be wife and in-laws with a full compliment of delicious drams to sample. This, I admit, was the first time I had been asked to take part in a tweet tasting and the other tweeters are all much more established and learned than myself so I was reasonably nervous before starting. It is amazing how this fine amber nectar can quickly disabuse a person of such hangups. Thanks to Whiskywire, Steve Rush and tweettastings for letting me take part. I hope I was able to add something useful to the conversation.
This is an amalgamation, to the best of my ability, of my tweets on each dram. The one thing I will say is that there was not a bad dram in the bunch. I was fortunate enough a couple of days after the tasting to recieve a bottle of the 10 entirely out of the blue. After having tried it, I am very much looking forward to opening it!
Appearance: Beautiful light golden/amber colour.
Nose: Malty notes up front that reminded me of a mash house; toffee and caramel sweetness with a floral hint - reminiscent of the grass note I get in the Highland Park 10; as the whisky opens up a cinnamon note comes through.
Palate: Sweet and crisp bursting with succulent fruit and honey; apple comes through on the palate more so than the nose in place of the floral note; peppery tingle towards the back of the throat which compliments the sweetness perfectly.
Finish: Malt and honey that goes on for ages - a delightful dram!
Appearance: Very similar gold/amber colour to the 10.
Nose: The malt is still prominent but in a more savoury way; I get the apple on the nose in the 12 straight away with the cinnamon adding a spicy kick - cinnamon apple turnover in a glass; sweetness comes through as demerara sugar; as it opens up the 12 reveals its sherry influence in a subtle way - juicy dark fruit is hinted at under the malty brilliance.
Palate: The 12 tastes just like the Apple turnover I got on the nose! A crumbly Danish of a dram with Apple and cinnamon. The sweetness lingers at the back of the palate in a honeyed note; credit to @Unchillfilter for this note but there is a hint of the smell of pencil shavings. The 12 has edged out a lead for me over the 10. The palate is absolute sweet perfection and balances beautifully with the exceptional nose.
Finish: The finish is a paradox - somehow drying and succulent for a long sweet time.
Appearance: Similar to the first 2, but perhaps a shade darker towards the amber
Nose: The 18 has the Malt in the form of grist on the nose but a toffee sweetness is more prominent. The cut grass note is there making the nose very fresh. Cinnamon is in the 18 but the fruit comes through more like a summer fruit salad - berries and chopped apple; as the 18 opens I get marmalade.
Palate: The 18 is a spice bomb that develops through a peppery tingle to a chilli burn. The light summer fruits have been very much replaced by dark stone fruit - plums, raisins and red grapes; cinnamon adds to this spicy dram’s wonderfully complex palate.
Finish: spice and sweet dance on the tongue for a long finish.
Glengoyne Batch 6 Cask Strength (The Mystery Dram)
Appearance: Similar to the other 3 with more viscosity
Nose: Sherry monster! Dark fruits burst out of the glass and offer something very different. More along the lines of the 18 but punchier given the ABV; Cask strength dram comes heavy with orange peel, dark fruits with the malty cereal notes taking a back seat on the nose. Nutmeg and cinnamon spice to compliment.
Palate: The Cask strength without water has a very chewy texture and given the high ABV a good alcohol burn. The sweetness comes through after swallowed. Dark Fruits are hinted at but lost in the burn. Adding water and I think it’ll open up massively; the palate opens with toffee, grape and raisin. Spice tingles the whole tongue.
Finish: Deep, dark fruit sweetness accented with lingering spice.
Not a bad dram in this bunch but I have to say my favourite was the 12 - I will be adding a bottle to the collection definitely!